Interview- Siva Panchadcharam, IHL Engineering Manager


 
 
 

Name: Siva Panchadcharam

Role: IHL Engineering Manager

Time at Inelco Hunter: 4 years

 
 
 
 

What do you do in a typical day?

It’s always busy in the engineering department! I can get involved in up to 10 different projects a day, as well as general management, meetings, calls to suppliers, R&D and general queries from other departments.

 
 
What do you like most about your role?

Challenges! I like technical challenges and developing new skills. We work on lots of different projects, so there’s always something new to learn.

 
 

Has there been a project that you have particularly enjoyed? Why?

I enjoy projects that are technical and focus on the small details. There was one project where we had to go right down to the pixel level of a TFT- that was really interesting. We were then able to work on a custom display which required different suppliers for the TFT and touch, as well as changes to the display’s HDMI Board and this led us to develop our own 10.1” Touch Screen Solution Kit, which we launched earlier this year.

 
 
 
 
 
What is the biggest challenge that you have faced? How did you overcome it?

It can be difficult to change people’s working patterns/ outlooks, when you want to change procedures to improve efficiency, or introduce something new.

People tend to not like change when they are comfortable with existing procedures- which is normal! Therefore, any new changes need to be implemented gradually (preferably in steps) and people educated on what changes are being made and why.

If people can see that the new changes will make things easier for them, or benefit them in some way, they are more likely to accept and take on board changes.

An understanding of commercialism…can lead to better customer service and cost savings

 

What advice would you give to anyone who is thinking of getting into engineering?

Pay attention to the details- this is a key trait of an engineer

Be organised- you frequently need to work on multiple projects simultaneously, so it’s good to develop this skill from the start.

Develop your commercial side- This is something that engineers do not tend to think about. However, an understanding of commercialism is a skill that can lead to better customer service and cost savings.

I would suggest an engineer should have about 80% engineering skills and 20% commercial know-how. This is particularly important for smaller companies where resources can be tight and large budgets for R&D are not available. At Inelco Hunter engineers frequently visit customers with members of the sales team to discuss project requirements and technical information. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the customer’s requirements including budget, lead times, as well as long term and short term aims of a project. These details will ensure that a project is developed correctly from the start, and save time and money later.

 
 
What do you do in your free-time?

I enjoy playing cricket and am a member of my local Twenty20 cricket club. I’m quite good at bowling, but I’m an all-rounder so I prefer to play in a variety of positions.

I actually love sports in general, and used to play football. However, my 2 year-old son now keeps me very busy so I don’t have much free time- or energy- for other sports!

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